Little cruelties

Liz Nugent

Book - 2020

"An uneasy but powerful read from bestselling author Liz Nugent that delves into the darkness visited upon a family of three working-class Irish brothers, exploring the ways in which families can wreak emotional damage across generations and doom men to give in to their own worst impulses in service to a culture that has abandoned them"--

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Subjects
Genres
Novels
Published
New York : Scout Press 2020.
Edition
First Scout Press hardcover edition
Language
English
Physical Description
343 pages ; 24 cm
ISBN
9781501189685
1501189689
9781501189692
1501189697
Main Author
Liz Nugent (author)
Review by Library Journal Reviews

In this latest from the author of the LJ-starred Lying in Wait, three Irish brothers born successively a year apart compete frantically for their conniving mother's attention. And the little cruelties to which children are prone get nastier and nastier and finally end in blood. With a 75,000-copy first printing. Copyright 2020 Library Journal.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

This artfully constructed but coal-black psychological suspense novel from Irish author Nugent (Skin Deep) opens at the funeral of one of the often-estranged, sociopathic Drumm brothers: William, Brian, and Luke. Which brother is in the coffin and how he got there isn't revealed until much later. The long, strange trip before then emerges in sections narrated in turn by the trio, starting with the entitled eldest, William, a sexist film producer, and ending with baby Luke, a former pop star, much of whose bad behavior can be attributed to lifelong mental illness and addiction issues. In between there's money-mad Brian, who, as Luke's manager, stole Luke's mansion and peddled his brother's secrets to the press. The cruel way their supremely narcissistic mother, a fading Dublin dance band singer, treated her sons accounts for how they developed into such fatally flawed individuals. (Their innocuous father died in their teens.) Though the author's skillful telling of this multigenerational tragedy has the riveting power of an imminent car crash, its despicable characters and unremitting darkness may put off many. Readers who don't like it intensely grim are advised to start with one of Nugent's earlier, not quite so dark books. Agent: Marianne Gunn O'Connor, Marianne Gunn O'Connor Literary. (Nov.) Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Conditioned by a cruel mother to compete for attention, three brothers endure and perpetuate dangerous emotional trauma that escalates until one of them loses his life. By the award-winning author of Unraveling Oliver. 75,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

"An uneasy but powerful read from bestselling author Liz Nugent that delves into the darkness visited upon a family of three working-class Irish brothers, exploring the ways in which families can wreak emotional damage across generations and doom men to give in to their own worst impulses in service to a culture that has abandoned them"--

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Hailed by New York Times bestselling author Lisa Jewell as “a force to be reckoned with,” Liz Nugent is back with a powerful and unsettling new novel that will invite comparison to the bitter relationships in HBO’s blockbuster series Succession, as it follows three brothers, bound by blood but split by fate, and delves into the many ways families can wreak emotional havoc across generations.All three of the Drumm brothers were at the funeral.But only one of them was in the coffin.William, Brian, and Luke: three boys, born a year apart, trained from birth by their wily mother to compete for her attention. They play games, as brothers do…yet even after the Drumms escape into the world beyond their windows, those games—those little cruelties—grow more sinister, more merciless, and more dangerous. And with their lives entwined like the strands of a noose, only two of the brothers will survive.Crisply written and quickly paced, perfect for fans of breathtaking suspense, Little Cruelties gazes unflinchingly into the darkness: the darkness collecting in the corners of childhood homes, hiding beneath marriage beds, clasped in the palms of two brothers shaking hands. And it confirms Liz Nugent—whose work has invited comparisons to Patricia Highsmith and Barbara Vine and has been celebrated as "captivating" (People) and "highly entertaining" (The Washington Post)—as one of the most exciting, perceptive voices in contemporary fiction.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

Hailed by New York Times bestselling author Lisa Jewell as 'a force to be reckoned with," Liz Nugent is back with a powerful and unsettling new novel that will invite comparison to the bitter relationships in HBO's blockbuster series Succession, as it follows three brothers, bound by blood but split by fate, and delves into the many ways families can wreak emotional havoc across generations.All three of the Drumm brothers were at the funeral.But only one of them was in the coffin.William, Brian, and Luke: three boys, born a year apart, trained from birth by their wily mother to compete for her attention. They play games, as brothers do'yet even after the Drumms escape into the world beyond their windows, those games'those little cruelties'grow more sinister, more merciless, and more dangerous. And with their lives entwined like the strands of a noose, only two of the brothers will survive.Crisply written and quickly paced, perfect for fans of breathtaking suspense, Little Cruelties gazes unflinchingly into the darkness: the darkness collecting in the corners of childhood homes, hiding beneath marriage beds, clasped in the palms of two brothers shaking hands. And it confirms Liz Nugent'whose work has invited comparisons to Patricia Highsmith and Barbara Vine and has been celebrated as "captivating" (People) and "highly entertaining" (The Washington Post)'as one of the most exciting, perceptive voices in contemporary fiction.